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Chicago International Movies and Music Festival

The Chicago International Movies and Music Festival (CIMMfest) is finalizing the program for its upcoming inaugural festival, which will be held in the Chicago Cultural Center downtown and the new St. Paul Cultural Center in the city's Wicker Park neighborhood, March 5-8. Various galleries and music venues, including Th!nkArt Salon, Schuba's, and the Double Door, will also host screenings and nighttime events. This annual event will bring together movies and music, showcasing films with music at their center and other syntheses of moving image and musical performance.

CIMMfest brings together films, filmmakers, and devotees from around the world, including showcases from France, Australia, Germany, the UK, China, Brazil, India, Canada, and Israel. The opening night gala, in partnership with the Consulate General of France in Chicago and other organizations, will be shown live via webcast at Paris's new Quatrecent museum. More than 200 entries were received for the competition portion of the fest in the following categories: long and short form documentary and fiction, and music video.

Confirmed special guests, filmmakers, and panelists include revered underground director Lech Kowalski, Chicago producer Steve Jones, film legend Jon Anderson, Chicago Sun-Times pop music critic and co-host of National Public Radio's Sound Opinions Jim DeRogatis, Chicago Reader film critic J.R. Jones, industrial music legend Martin Atkins (Public Image Ltd., Pigface), WXRT radio personality Marty Lennartz, acclaimed French writer and actor François Bégaudeau, rock photographer Richard Bellia (Rolling Stones, Radiohead, Paul McCartney), music video pioneers Encyclopedia Pictura, and many more.

"CIMMfest addresses a gaping void that most film festivals and music festivals tend to overlook with its keen focus on showcasing the use of 'music on film' and 'film on music' in cinema and visual media today," says Carlos Tortelero, Public Programs Associate, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. "By blurring the lines between these respective arts, we can see how new forms of media are constantly changing and evolving."

Founders and neighbors Ilko Davidov (producer and director at local studio BulletProof Film) and Josh Chicoine (lead singer of the Chicago band the M's) decided to create the new festival in the spring of 2008 after Davidov traveled the world's festivals and saw that nothing like CIMMfest existed. "We looked around and knew that we both had this love for movies and music and that there weren't any fests spotlighting them as they exist together," says co-founder Chicoine. "Chicago is the city that gets things done, and everyone loves movies about music. This is an opportunity to see films from around the world with music as central to the telling, meet the filmmakers and get immersed."

Weekend passes and individual tickets can be purchased through Ticketholders will receive reduced prices to evening concerts. Full festival details and more information are available at

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